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….Well, our century at least. If there was ever an opportunity to display the breadth, depth and variety of personalities and innovators that comprise the fashion world, it would be a party celebrating 100 years’ worth of its most fabulous moments. At its 100th anniversary bash Tuesday evening at Cipriani 42nd Street, WWD drew one of the more eclectic guest lists in recent memory. In what other room would you find Iman, a Housewife of New York City, and Henry and Nancy Kissinger?
Not to mention Ralph Lauren, Francisco Costa, Joseph Abboud, Alber Elbaz, Stefano Pilati, Valerie Hermann, Marc Jacobs, Vera Wang, Italo Zucchelli, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Leonard and Evelyn Lauder, Norma Kamali, Tommy Hilfiger, Terry Lundgren, Mickey Drexler, Betsey Johnson, Arie and Coco Kopelman, Joseph Altuzarra, Martha Stewart, Marissa Mayer, Elie Tahari, Graydon Carter, Anna Wintour, Narciso Rodriguez, Isaac Mizrahi, Nina Griscom and Leonel Piraino, models Coco Rocha, Liu Wen, Constance Jablonski and Arlenis Sosa, Stan Herman, Robert Duffy, Olivia Chantecaille, Cornelia Guest, Petra Nemcova and Padma Lakshmi.
Throughout the cavernous space there were huge replications of some of the paper’s most iconic photographs, as well as items designed specifically for WWD that are being sold on Charitybuzz.com: the “Dior Beauty in Bloom” mixed-media painting by John Galliano; a pair of Versace “Fantasy Greca Vases”; dresses from Ralph Lauren, Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent, and a Tommy Hilfiger for WWD@100 Wagoneer car that, as of press time, had drawn the most bids.
Karen Elson serenaded the packed crowd with a rendition of “Happy Birthday,” and there was also a water cooler filled with the “WWD 100-Proof Punch” (a mix of Belvedere Intense 100-proof vodka, grenadine, Sprite and five different fruit juices). But it wasn’t really necessary, since it seemed most guests had drunk the Kool-Aid long ago.
“It sounds a little selfish but getting my first cover changed my life,” said Prabal Gurung.
“When I moved to New York, I had a fashion show in my loft,” recalled Cynthia Rowley. “It was totally amateur, cobbled together. A senior WWD executive attended, and asked for a cup of coffee. I just remember someone was in my kitchen making him a cup of coffee.”
Over the years, the publication has definitely had its moments. “It was that whole period of Saint Laurent, when WWD would photograph the whole crew, like Loulou [de la Falaise] and Betty Catroux,” said Anna Sui.
Jacobs recalled a more recent period. “[My favorite moment is] the moment it arrives in the morning,” he said.
Others cut a wider swath and reflected on their most beloved memory over the last century. “I had the chance when I was a kid to work at an Armani fashion show and that was a revelation for me that that could be the path that I could take,” said Pilati.
De la Falaise had a soft spot for the way the runways were. “The first fashion shows that were freer and fun were in the late Seventies when the models were from Africa, from India, from all over the world,” she said. “The first ready-to-wear shows, the first Kenzo shows, I think that was a major change in fashion in those days.”
Indeed, some things never go out of style — including arriving fashionably late. A few minutes after the last of the guests had trickled out into the night, a slightly dazed Courtney Love entered party-ready.
“Am I first to arrive?” she asked, eyeing the empty room and red carpet.